Innovative Challenges

Challenges

To promote creativity and challenges amongst our engineers, our staff often run internal competitions such as:

Gadget Competition

How do we showcase the amazing skills and talents of our people? How do we give people who might be interested in joining us a taster of who we are and what we do? A gadget competition of course!

We challenged our brilliant Engineers with building a gadget we could use on our recruitment stand. ‘No problem!’ they said.

10 teams pitched 12 different ideas in our "Dragons' Den". Our Dragons were Champions from across  the site: Technology, Software, Recruitment and Engineering.

Each team had 10 minutes to sell their idea. The Dragons quizzed them, and finally picked four entries to proceed to the next round.

 

The finalists were:

  • A "beat the buzzer" game, played via a robotic arm.
  • Using an Oculus Rift to drive a remote controlled car through a real world maze.
  • A Google Cardboard app and in-house made Goggles.
  • Marble Labyrinth game played remotely via a tablet's accelerometers.

The finalists created proofs of concepts ready for the final. Each team then presented their gadget to the Head of Engineering and (after a lengthy debate) a winner was selected.

“Labyrinth: A maze navigation challenge against the clock controlled over Bluetooth by accelerometers on an Android device. This showcases a variety of HMGCC skills and ingenuity including: Mechanical, Electronic, Embedded, Mobile development, Power Source, Systems Engineering and more!”

Look out for the game at an upcoming recruitment fair and see if you can get on the leaderboard!

Robot Battles

Where the extreme technical ability and out-of-the-box, fresh thinking of our people really goes to battle!

With teams from all over the site getting their heads together to produce their own, self-built robots, there were bound to be some crazy creations in store.

And they didn’t disappoint. From handcrafted sophisticated automatons with carbon fibre shells, to a remote control car with lego parts duct-taped on, the variety of skills (and effort!) involved was immense.

The competition included rounds such: Maze, Drag Race, and a flat out Battle Royale to determine the winner.

 

The winning robot was “Wibble”: What it lacks in strength, power and weight it makes up in agility, speed and sacks full of hope.

  • Weapons: N/A
  • Drive: RC540 Brushed DC Motor
  • Power: 7.2V 1800mAh Ni-MH battery
  • Chassis: Basic Plastic RC Chassis with (some) Aluminium parts – anodised purple for extra bhp!
  • Body: papier mâché and foam lightweight armour shell
  • Control: 2 channel 2.4 GHz RC “Wheel Type”

Wibble

How well did Wibble do? Well, it got the fastest time in the drag race, 2nd last in the obstacle course, and smashed it in the Battle Royale (literally!)